Tourism, highways chiefs offer resignations over tour bus crash

Taipei--The heads of the Tourism Bureau and the Directorate General of Highways have tendered verbal resignations to take responsibility for a tour bus crash in Taipei on Feb. 13 that killed 33 people and injured 11, Deputy Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (???) said Sunday.

The tour bus, carrying 44 people including the driver and the tour guide, crashed off a ramp connecting Freeway No. 5 and Freeway No. 3 in eastern Taipei at about 9 p.m. that day, leaving 33 people dead and 11 injured in one of the deadliest freeway traffic accidents in Taiwan's history.

The Tourism Bureau has ordered the tour operator -- Iris Travel Service Co., Ltd. (??????) -- to suspend all operations following its involvement in the crash.

Meanwhile, Tourism Bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui (???) and Directorate General of Highways Director-General Chen Yen-po (???)have tendered their verbal resignations to take responsibility, and have promised to help with handling the aftermath of the accident, Wang said.

Chou and Chen only assumed their posts in September last year. Chen had served in various positions in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, including senior executive officer, division chief and chief secretary, as well as director-general of the National Expressway Engineering Bureau.

Chou was previously director-general of the Taiwan Railways Administration.

It was not clear whether Transport Minister Ho Chen Tan (???) will accept their resignations, according to a ministry source.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel